As a reminder, these waiver wire players aim for the 50 percent or less ownership on average across the major sites. They’re also good for DFS too, as they will often have a lower cost and present values.
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Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups QBs
Joe Flacco, BAL – Flacco had been a Top 18 quarterback in every year since his rookie season before last year. He has two QB1 seasons to his name and was on pace for 4,460 yards and 22 touchdowns last year before his injury. Flacco has a new Torrey Smith to target deep in Mike Wallace, and we can see the early dividends. Steve Smith is still working on getting back to 100 percent, and Dennis Pitta is showing why Fantasy owners were excited over his potential for years. If you need quarterback help, don’t overlook Flacco… after all, he is elite.
Sam Bradford, MIN – Bradford is another quarterback that had nice pace before suffering an injury. In 2013, Bradford was on pace for 3,856 yards and 32 touchdowns, and that was with a weak Rams team. Bradford has a nice collection of talent around him with or without Adrian Peterson. Stefon Diggs is a great young receiver, and Bradford looked great in his first start, despite having little over a week to adjust to the new offense.
Deep Leagues/Watch List: Carson Wentz, Colin Kaepernick
Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups RBs
Charles Sims, TB – Sims isn’t hanging around in many leagues, but seeing an average ownership percentage near 55 is still insane. Sims should have been on a bench in every league, ideally the Doug Martin owner’s, as he has RB1 potential if Martin is indeed out. It’s not even close between Sims and the rest. If he’s out there, Sims is worth blowing your No. 1 waiver spot and a big part of your FAAB. I’m talking 40-50 percent… or even more.
Christine Michael, SEA – This is more about Thomas Rawls being hurt again, as Michael didn’t help his cause by fumbling to end the Seahawks day. Nevertheless, the Seahawks will likely ensure Rawls is 100 percent ready to return this time around before tossing him back in the mix, and that gives Michael RB2 value on volume alone.
Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata, MIN – As much explosiveness as McKinnon has, he’s unlikely to see a high share of the work. In fact, Asiata has the better history of numbers in Adrian Peterson’s absence. It sounds as though the Vikings will give McKinnon the majority share but still work in Asiata, especially at the goal line. This has the making of a Jeremy Hill–Giovani Bernard situation, so don’t go overboard on McKinnon and don’t forget about Asiata.
Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR – Whittaker had a terrific showing in Jonathan Stewart‘s absence, but Artis-Payne saw his fair share of work last year when Stewart was out. Whittaker’s performance could have earned him the heavier workload, but as with the Vikings, we aren’t looking at a clear lead running back of choice. I prefer Whittaker if you’re in a PPR league and Artis-Payne as more of the standard option.
Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake and Isaiah Pead, MIA – If Arian Foster does miss time (who saw this coming, right?) we could see a full-blown committee in Miami. Ajayi was in the doghouse for Week 1, and while he saw work in Foster’s absence, he still has deficiencies in the passing game. Drake is a nice change-of-pace option and complement to Ajayi, but his upside could be capped with Pead in the mix too. Don’t forget that there was a lot of hope for Pead with the Rams, and he’s looked spry with the Dolphins. I’d chase them in this order, but I’m not blowing my budget or even top waiver spot unless I’m dying for running back help.
Dwayne Washington, DET – Here’s the sneaky pickup you want. While everyone blows their wads over the running backs above and deals with usage headaches (outside of Sims and Michael), you should sit back and save money on Washington. Theo Riddick is not a 20-carry running back. The Lions will turn to Washington with Ameer Abdullah out, and that gives him some breakout potential with his nice combination of size and speed added to his good pass-catching ability.
Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups WRs
Tyrell Williams, SD – We speculated in last week’s waiver wire column on who would step up in Allen’s absence. After Week 2, there doesn’t seem to be much doubt left. Williams had six targets to Dontrelle Inman‘s three and finished with three catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. He has the speed to make big plays, so make sure he’s not out there.
Steve Smith, BAL – Smith did better with his receptions this week, turning three catches into 64 yards instead of five for 19. As mentioned with Flacco, Smith is nearing his pre-injury form, which puts him in the WR3 discussion with possible WR2 if he gets hot, as was the case early during the last two years.
Victor Cruz, NYG – It’s hard trusting a third receiver on a team but the Giants mainly run three-receiver sets. In fact, in Week 1, all three receivers were on the field for all 30 passing plays, and it was nearly the same in Week 2. Cruz looks to be around 90 percent of his former self, and that is still a dangerous weapon. As with the Cardinals last year, there will be weeks where one is left out, but more often than not, all three Giants receivers can provide nice value.
Michael Thomas, NO – As with Cruz, we have another team’s third receiver, but Thomas has 58 and 56 yards in the first two games, and his first touchdown is just around the corner. In fact, the matchup against the Falcons this week presents Thomas with his best scoring opportunity to date. I’d consider starting him in deeper leagues.
Chris Hogan, NE – I wouldn’t want to start him with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback on a short week, but Hogan’s been valuable, and you know Tom Brady will make the most of Hogan’s upside when he’s back. It’s just two more weeks!
Quincy Enunwa, NYJ – Enunwa would move way up the list if Brandon Marshall were out. As it stands, Enunwa is an intriguing WR4/5. This is another third option for a team, but unlike Cruz and Thomas, Enunwa’s team doesn’t have a true tight end threat. With Enunwa filling a receiver/tight end hybrid role, he has the ability to overcome some of the risk being his team’s third receiver.
Jamison Crowder, WSH – Crowder led the team in receptions against the Cowboys. Not DeSean Jackson and not Pierre Garcon, but Crowder. He was the only receiver to score, and Crowder looks to be building off last year’s momentum and possibly becoming the Redskins second best receiver.
Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups TEs
Kyle Rudolph, MIN – Yes, Rudolph is a repeat from last week, but apparently, I need to repeat myself when his ownership is still less than 30 percent. Bradford is going to throw for more touchdowns than Teddy Bridgewater ever did (heck, after one game, he only needs 12 more to tie Bridgewater’s 14) and that alone pushes Rudolph into the TE1 discussion. On top of that, Rudolph has 16 targets through two games. He’s the second best passing-game option on the Vikings.
Dennis Pitta, BAL – Well lookie here. We’ve been waiting for Pitta for years, but the man just can’t stay healthy. The Browns game is the proof of Pitta’s potential, as he racked up 102 yards on nine receptions and a team-high 12 targets. If you’re frustrated with your tight end (Coby Fleener owners), Pitta makes for a great pickup and is startable for the foreseeable future (or until he gets hurt).